Winter weather is beautiful, but it can leave your best coats looking otherwise; snow, sleet, and salt can leave behind residue that makes your winter parka looking gray and dingy—yuck! And we know all too well that coats don’t necessarily make it into the laundry basket every week. But don’t worry—we have simple instructions on how to keep them looking fresh and clean all winter long!
Photo: Amelia Ann Photo
Before just tossing your coat in the washing machine, remember to always check the fabric care labels first. To keep your favorite garments, like a wardrobe staple winter coat, looking their absolute best, always follow any specific instructions like ‘Hand Wash Only’ or ‘Dry Clean Only.’ Always remove any detachable parts of your jacket, like a hood or fur collar, beforehand, and wash them separately. In addition, make sure all zippers, buttons, and clasps are done before washing!
Wool makes for a super warm and cozy winter coat, but the fibers tend to trap in dirt and unwanted odors over time, so aim to wash yours about twice per winter.
Overall, we recommend hand washing wool coats, but if the fabric care label gives you the go-ahead for machine washing, just make sure to use a gentle cycle, and air dry since wool is prone to shrinking!
- Fill a sink or basin with cold water, and drop in a detergent pac. We recommend Dropps Mini Laundry Detergent Pacs—they’re the perfect amount of detergent for hand washing individual garments, and our formula is gentle on natural fibers like wool to prevent shrinking, stretching, or yellowing!
- Once the detergent pac has dissolved, place your coat in the water, swish it around and lightly squeeze it until it is fully soaked. Let the coat sit for a minute or two, and then repeat.
- Rinse the coat thoroughly until there is no detergent residue left.
- Take the coat out of the water and gently press and squeeze (don’t wring!) out the excess water. To speed up the drying time, lay the coat flat on a clean, dry towel, and tightly roll the towel up in a log shape so that the towel absorbs any excess water from your coat. Repeat if necessary.
- Lastly, hang your newly clean coat on a sturdy hanger in a cool, dry space until it is completely dry.
Down feathers are natural insulators so they’re perfect for keeping you warm and dry during cold weather, but they are very delicate so washing them with heavy detergents can cause them to clump and lose their fluffiness. Instead, opt for a lighter detergent like Dropps Scent + Dye Free Laundry Detergent Pacs that will cleanse without leaving behind any sticky residue that can damage your favorite coat! Again, check the fabric care label first, but machine washing is generally safe for most down coats.
- Turn your coat inside out before placing it in the washing machine. Drop a gentle detergent pac into the washing machine along with your down coat.
- Always use cold water and the gentlest cycle, and skip agitation altogether if possible as it can damage the delicate feathers.
- Machine drying is actually preferred for this type of garment (woohoo!) because the air circulation and movement helps to fluff the light feathers inside, keeping your coat soft, breathable, and lump-free. Tumble dry your down coat on a low heat setting. For extra fluffing power, try tossing in a dryer ball or tennis ball!
- Once your coat is completely dry, remove it from the dryer and hand-fluff to make sure the feathers are evenly dispersed.